Tourism has created a small number of noticeably wealthy people in the upmarket Shela neighbourhood.
Shela, Lamu’s version of Muthaiga in Nairobi or Mombasa’s Nyali, is home to European celebrities and business magnates, foreign aristocrats and Kenyan tycoons. Plots here sell for about Sh20 million each.
An acre of a front-row beach plot measured from the high water mark is worth more than Sh60 million. An exclusive seafront parcel of 130 acres is can easily fetch for for Sh500 million.
Luxury beach hotels, resorts and private villas frequented by international celebrities and wealthy individuals for holidays, weddings and honeymoons. Hotels such as Red Pepper House, Majlis Hotel and The Font at Shela Beach are in high demand and charge between Sh50,000 and Sh100,000 a night.